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need HELP with lift install!!!!

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Gary 86 K5, Nov 6, 2002.

  1. Gary 86 K5

    Gary 86 K5 1/2 ton status

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    Well, today I attempted to install my Rough Country 4" lift and things are messed up. I cannot get the springs and front axle to line up. I'm really disappointed with this kit, it didn't come with any directions at all, and no bolts for the leaf springs. I was talking to my friends uncle and he said I need to get some kind of shim that goes between the axle and spring so everything sits right. He said it should have come with the kit. The problem I'm having is that the hole in the axle is not lining up with the notch on the bottom of the leaf springs. This is really frustrating for me after spending all of this money and having all these problems. Please help me out guys!!!
     
  2. heavy4x4

    heavy4x4 1/2 ton status

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    I've installed the same kit, and I agree the directions (or lack there of) are crap.
    Here's something to look at - on the front springs, there are two different size eyes/bushings. The larger spring eye goes in the front (I'm pretty sure of this - someone please confirm). If it's not in the front, the center pin will not set the axle in the proper place. Next, if that is correct and the axle isn't lining up...just shift the axle over to line up. I had to do this because my whole truck kinda "shifted" while on the jackstands. It's a pain to move and get aligned, so get help. Next, you do not need shims for this kit. Don't look for them in the boxes, or go out and buy any. They are not necessary. Finally, the kits do not come with bolts. (Not one kit that I know of does). If you want to replace the bolts (I did, because I cut them all with a torch), they are 9/16" grade 8 bolts. I believe the length 6" worked for all places except for the drivers side rear (furthest one back on the vehicle) because of the wheel well (suburban). In that place I had to use either a 5 1/2" or 5", I can't remember. Hope this helps. Any more questions just ask. Hang in there - you'll run into more problems - (I sure did) - but it's all worth it in the end.
     
  3. rogerwilco71

    rogerwilco71 1/2 ton status

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    Well said. Springs never usually line up well, so get them close as possible, slap in u-bolts(leave loose), then once connected you can tap/kick/whatever to line the center pins up. Once you begin tightening the bolts, the pins will be close, then you can adjust and tighten. Be sure and not over-torque the 'shackle-bolts' causing the bushings to squeeze...you want them snug but not pinch( OH YA, AND GREASE'M!!!).
    Let us know how you're doing.
     
  4. Gary 86 K5

    Gary 86 K5 1/2 ton status

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    thanks for the help, no directions really sucks!!! any other tips guys???
     
  5. heavy4x4

    heavy4x4 1/2 ton status

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    What size lift did you go with? Rear springs, or blocks? Raised steering arm? (A must have for a lift) About the steering arm, in order to get that off, I had to borrow a neighbors air hammer to get it off. The taper sleeves holding it on, no matter how much I pounded with a 3lb mallet, wouldn't let go. So, good luck with that.
    Also, make sure that when you lift the rear (if you haven't already), you bend back the clips holding the brake hardlines to the axle tube and unbolt the bracket on the diff holding on the end of the rubber hose (where it splits into the two hardlines) This will make sure that when you drop the axle and/or raise the vehicle more you won't overextend the brakeline.
    That brings me to another tip. When I put in the rear springs, they had so much arch that I had the rear end of my 'burb so high up in the air it was scary, and I still couldn't bolt in the springs. So, I took the axle off of the jackstands and let it lay on my rims and tires (just set the drums inside the tire while it was laying on the ground). This allowed me to bolt up the springs, and then attach them to my axle. At that point, I could get my floor jack under the diff and raise the truck back up to put the tires on.
     
  6. rogerwilco71

    rogerwilco71 1/2 ton status

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    Yes, it seems pretty cut n dry (wait til you get to the arm), but simplistic procedures can be difficult without the right tools or experience. Try installing 12" springs /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif it doesn't say it in the instructions, but it also requires a 12pack and a couple buddies. As for as the shims, you'll be alright since the rear blocks are tapered, and the front (could use'm) should be okay since it's use for off-road and not high speed like the rear. We really don't know specifically what problems you're having with alignment, but keep it up and it'll work for sure. I remember how frustrating my first lift was, and all I can say is patience and logical thought (and that beer too). At any rate, good floor jack, 2 jack stands, and the right tools is all you need /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
    BTW, did you completely remove the front springs at once? I find it easier (when alone--keeps axle lined and supported...like an extra hand ) to do one corner/spring at a time. Completely dropping and axle can be tough if you don't rig it right.
     
  7. Gary 86 K5

    Gary 86 K5 1/2 ton status

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    well guys, im a tech at a chevy dealer so i have all the right tools, granted i work on cars everyday, but this is my first lift install, im sure i would have got it done today but i was pressed for time (the shop closed at 9 and i started at 6) so now i have to go into work tomorrow at 6 and get it back together and off my lift before 7am /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif ill let you guys know how it turns out tomorrow, thanks for all the help!! /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     
  8. oatsk5

    oatsk5 1/2 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    HOW MUCH DID U PAY FOR THE KIT IF I MAY ? /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     
  9. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    Must be NICE to have your "own" lift! When I did this same kit in my driveway, biggest problem I had was... I put the frame on my tallest jack stands, lowered the axle from the springs, removed the springs, and then barely had room to get the new springs in between the frame and the axle! I couldn't get the frame high enough! When I got the springs bolted to the shackles, the axle was on the ground!

    First thing I did after that was to go get taller jack stands!!!

    The hardest part of your lift, by far, will be the steering arm. You can drive the truck without it, but you will find yourself wandering all over the road.

    Oh yeah, the front springs should not have any shims. However, if you went with rear springs (I don't know about the blocks), there will be shims already bolted to the spring pack (if memory serves me correctly).
     
  10. heavy4x4

    heavy4x4 1/2 ton status

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    Sounds like you had the same amount of fun as me when it came time to put in the new springs. I had jack stands sitting on 20" oak logs just so that they could reach the frame. (Look in my webshots and you'll see a "during" pic of installing the rear springs. I still had to jack up the back end another couple of inches from that height to get the springs to bolt in. You can also barely see the log I used underneath the trailer hitch. /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif)
    Oh yeah, and the shims will already be bolted to the pack. You're right.
     
  11. Gary 86 K5

    Gary 86 K5 1/2 ton status

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    Well I got the front all done this morning, turns out it was the front driveshaft that was screwing everything up. The driveshaft was still connected but I figured it would slide and not affect anything...but its frozen. I have a few new questions now, first is: where can I get brake line extensions at? Will a parts store or Summit have them? The next question is about the rear shocks, I put the rubber inserts in all 4 openings but I only have 2 metal sleeves left, is there something special that I have to do with the upper shock mount? The last thing that has me puzzled is that I have 2 L shaped brackets and 1 flat brackets left over. All 3 have 2 holes in them. I really cannot believe that this kit didn't come with any instructions whatsoever /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif

    by the way it cost me $460 plus $70 shipping and it came with 4 shocks, 4 springs, steering arm and u-bolts /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     
  12. imiceman44

    imiceman44 1 ton status

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    Those brakets you have left are for brake line relocation.
    instead of using longer ones they relocate the hard edge to closer to the axle or the frame which ever is the case.
    2 out of 3
    /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  13. heavy4x4

    heavy4x4 1/2 ton status

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    Yup, those brackets are the brake line extensions. Those two 90 degree pieces, yeah...those found their way to the garbage for me. (I didn't use them on my truck, and I haven't had any overextension problems) If you do want to install them, they mount on that little frame extension piece - all they do is pull more hardline out from behind the frame, thus making the rubber line that much closer to the tire. The straight bracket is for the rear brakeline extension. The splitter block that I talked about earlier (at least that's what I'm going to call it) is mounted by having a bolt for the diff cover hold it on. Take that bolt out, bolt that extension bracket in that place, and then bolt the splitter block to the extension bracket. Doing this will lift the splitter block about 4 inches higher so that the rubber line doesn't over-extend. You will have to supply a bolt and nut to bolt the splitter block to the extension bracket (If memory serves me correctly). If any of this doesn't make sense to you, just say so, and I'll try to explain it better.
    About the shocks (dang, I did this 2 years ago and the memory is starting to go), I think the upper mount doesn't get a metal sleeve (someone correct me if I'm wrong). The bolt is very odd looking - has a big body to it - and I think that just goes through the bushing. The metal sleeve should be used on the bottom bushings at the axle. Well now wait, I'm starting to doubt myself...I think you should have sleeves for the top too. Someone help me out.
    Anyway, I hope that clears up some confusion/frustration. When are you doing the rear?
     
  14. Gary 86 K5

    Gary 86 K5 1/2 ton status

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    i figured that those brackets had something to do with the brake lines but i figured id ask to make sure......since i dont have any directions!!!! /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif i thought that i might not need sleeves for the rears after looking at the upper bolts, can anyone verify this?? also does anyone have any pics of the brackets installed?? thanks for the help guys!! id be lost without you!! /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     
  15. imiceman44

    imiceman44 1 ton status

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    Some bolts are thicker and don't need the sleeves, I remember the rear top bolt is the fixed bolt, it should be the thick one.
     
  16. heavy4x4

    heavy4x4 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for the verification on the shock bolt situation. I thought that's what it was, but then I started second-guessing myself.
     
  17. BLUESMAN

    BLUESMAN 1/2 ton status

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    I've installed several lifts,2 R.C.'s.The only problem I had was that the center bolt,that holds the leafs together,was a little larger than the spring perch hole.A grinder was a quick fix.The kits do come with front and rear u bolts,no axle shims though.Remove your sway bar will help installing your front springs(actually I'd throw it away---stiff front springs!).i think Rough Country is a pretty good,cheap lift.....where else can you get front leaf springs,rear blocks(chuck them and go with a shackle flip),shocks(order the 6" longer ones for the 4" lift!),steering arm,and crap-ass brake extensions(use the Napa #'s) for under $350 delivered to your door?If you look on their site you can upgrade the shocks to the 9000 series for $32 a set,the axle shims are $15, and they sell urethane body mounts for the K/5 for under $75.I like the kit!They also sell stock leaf springs,front and rear.The R.C.'s are not rock crawling springs,but for the $....it's hard to beat!Mike
     
  18. Gary 86 K5

    Gary 86 K5 1/2 ton status

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    Hey Bluesman, you by any chance have a part # for the Napa brake hose extensions or do you think the brackets will do fine? I'm not doing any rock crawling with my Blazer so thats no problem. Thanks again for all the info guys!!! /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     
  19. 84K5cedric

    84K5cedric 1/2 ton status

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    Extended rubber front brake lines
    NAPA #38872

    They go for ~13 each. They are not made for our specific application, but with very minor modification (i drilled out the bracket where the line attaches to the hard line at the frame) they go on and work fine. And for a quarter of the price of a steel line kit.

    Use the extension bracket that came with your kit for the rear and you'll be all set.
     
  20. Gary 86 K5

    Gary 86 K5 1/2 ton status

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    Micah, thanks a ton for your help, one quick question though. Is this number for the fronts only or can I use them for the rear too???? /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     

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